LOVE IS NEWS (Tay Garnett, 1937)

Both 23 at the time, Tyrone Power and Loretta Young at least possessed the charm of youth in the comedy Love Is News; but they didn’t have a scrap of talent between them. Power’s good looks commended him, but even these were shiny and shallow; Power was the Tom Cruise of his day. (When he returned from serving in the war, Power resembled Richard Nixon.) Bug-eyed Young imitated Irene Dunne and Margaret Sullavan in the 1930s and Joan Crawford in the 1940s. Young may not have been very pretty (Power was prettier), but, dahling, was she ever glamorous. There isn’t the slightest spark between these two in Love Is News, and without that, given the initial antagonism between Power’s nosy newspaper reporter and Young’s rich society girl, their romance seems to come out of the blue. The viewer goes along with it, but he or she scarcely roots for the two to come together romantically.
     Young’s Toni isn’t the only character with whom Power’s Steve is engaged in a love-hate relationship. Steve’s editor, Marty Canavan, is played by Don Ameche, who is no better than the stars. Canavan’s quarrels with Steve are poorly timed and very broadly played. One suspects that none of the three took the least bit of pride in his or her work here.
     Not much that is entertaining, then, goes on in the news room, although occasionally I did chuckle. A more fruitful setting for comedy is the smoke-filled bar that the reporters haunt, where they play checkers on the checkered floor, using glasses of whiskey and mugs of beer for checkers, which upon claiming in a move the player drinks.
     The funniest performance is delivered by George Sanders, with an unruly French accent, as Toni’s caddish, gold-digging fiancé.

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